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Croatia’s Mandzukic banned for 1 World Cup match

December 16, 2013

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA has banned Croatia’s star forward Mario Mandzukic for just one World Cup match for a red-card challenge in the playoffs.

Mandzukic will miss the tournament’s opening match when Croatia plays host Brazil in Sao Paulo on June 12.

FIFA says its disciplinary committee imposed the minimum sanction on Mandzukic.

FIFA disciplinary rules require bans of at least one match for “serious foul play.”

The Bayern Munich forward stamped on Iceland midfielder Johann Gudmundsson’s left knee in the second leg of their playoff in Zagreb.

Mandzukic had scored 10 minutes earlier to give Croatia the lead. Croatia won 2-0 in Zagreb to advance by the same score on aggregate.